Pomegranate is not a common fruit where I come from, and cost slightly more than the common fruits. But, the health benefits of this red juice is tremendous.
Only recently has this fruit been rediscovered, and made headlines with new discoveries of its highly restorative medicinal values. However, the impressive health values of this fruit had already been known since ancient days.
The size of a ripe pomegranate can be as small as an orange or as big as a grapefruit, approximately 7-12 cm in diameter, depending on its variety. It has a rounded hexagonal shape, with thick yellowish to reddish outer layer.
Inside a pomegranate is about 700-800 tightly packed seed casings called arils that are deep red in color when nicely ripe.
The taste of the juice differs depending on the variety and its state of ripeness. But basically, it can be sweet, sour or tangy.
Pomegranates have very high content of punicalagins, a potent anti-oxidant component found to be responsible for its superior health benefits.
Amazingly, researches indicate that the capacity of anti-oxidant in this fruit is two or three times higher than that of red wine and green tea.
The level of anti-oxidant is even higher than those of other fruits known to have high-levels of anti-oxidant, including blueberries, cranberries and oranges. This was attributed to the very high polyphenol content in the fruit.
They are also a good source of vitamin B (riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. These combination and other minerals in pomegranates cause a powerful synergy that prevents and reverses many diseases.
A new study has shown that drinking pomegranate juice frequently is extremely beneficial in fighting the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis). It reduces the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol which contributes to artery clogging and hardening.
Not only does the juice significantly reduce the blood vessel damage, it is found to actually reverse the progression of this disease.
Another study positively proved that pomegranates contain a powerful agent against cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
Here are some common ailments that are known to react positively with the use of pomegranate or its juice:
Anemia: Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon with a little honey to a cup of pomegranate juice. Especially beneficial for women after monthly loss of blood due to menstruation.
Anal Itch: Itching in the anal region is often caused by parasites in the intestines that go to the anal area to lay their eggs. Roast some pomegranate skin until it is brown and brittle. Then crush it to a fine powder form and mix with a little olive oil. Apply this concoction to the anus to kill the worms.
Anti-aging: We all know that anti-oxidant is highly effective in helping to protect the skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging.
Asthma: The high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in this fruit is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It can greatly reduce wheezing in young children with asthma.
Atherosclerosis: The highly cleansing power of this miracle juice scrubs away the old build-up of arterial deposits, reducing the risks of heart diseases and stroke.
Bleeding Piles: Pound the (clean) skin of one fruit from the sour variety. Boil the pound pulp in about two cups of water. Sweeten with honey and drink twice a day until healed.
Cancer prevention: The high anti-oxidant content protects cells from damages by free radicals. Regularly drinking juices high in anti-oxidants keep cancer at bay.
Cholesterol: Drinking juices high in anti-oxidant has been proven to fight the oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in the blood.
Dysentery: Drinking fresh pomegranate juice is an excellent remedy to soothe the pain and inflammation caused by severe diarrhea with blood and mucus in stools.
Immune booster: The anti-oxidant nutrients in pomegranates are critical in building up your immune system. Drink juice high in anti-oxidant when you feel a cold coming.
Loss of Appetite: If you can’t eat, at least you can drink! Pomegranate juice can help increase your appetite.
Morning sickness/nausea: Mix and drink an equal amount of honey with pomegranate juice for relief.
Sore throat: The anti-inflammatory agent in pomegranate juice significantly reduces the soreness and redness in the throat.
When buying pomegranates, choose those that are heavy and without splits on its skin. When stored in the fridge, this fruit can keep for as long as six months, but again, consider eating them fresh.
To open a pomegranate, first cut off its ‘crown’, then break it into its pre-formed sections. Roll off the arils with your fingers, and collect them all in a bowl.
The arils and seeds within them are edible. Put these through your juicer to extract the juice. Eating the seeds (those in the centre of the sacs) is a personal choice. If you are comfortable eating them, they can be a good source of fiber for you.
As for me, I love to simply put the arils whole into my mouth, savor the juice and spit out the seeds. This saves time on cleaning the juicer and I’m still able to enjoy the goodness of the juice.
To make pomegranate juice, I’ve found that a single-gear juicer is most effective.
If you are on any medication, consult with your doctor before you start consuming pomegranate juice regularly. There is some concern that the juice may affect the metabolism of some prescribed medications.